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By Dugout Philippines

In the second part of our year-end report, let's look back at the stories that at least became as interesting as the basketball news we shared yesterday.

1. Manny Pacquiao's back!

Manny Pacquiao has finally waken up from the nightmare of that stinging knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. Pacquiao went 2-0 this year, dominating Tim Bradley in the rematch of their WBO welterweight title bout and Chris Algieri. Now a nine-time world champ, Pacquiao is now looking forward to a possible megabucks battle against Floyd Mayweather in May 3.

2. New coach, new Azkals

A new coach enters the Philippine football scene as Thomas Dooley replaced Hans Weiss as the coach of the Philippine Azkals. All of a sudden, the national team became a retooled squad. From relying on long balls, the Azkals are now resorting on short passes and a tiki-taka-like style of play. It may be a year of heartbreaks for the Azkals as they fell short of winning the AFC Challenge Cup and the Philippine Football Peace Cup and making the finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup, but expect a tougher Azkals squad come next year.

3. Lady Eagles soaring high

The last time Ateneo won a collegiate women's volleyball title was way back in 1976 when the Lady Eagles captured the NCAA plum. They showed some promise in breaking a title drought by winning the 2012 Shakey's V-League First Conference pennant featuring the famed Fab Five. Still, Ateneo lost to La Salle in the UAAP Finals the following year. The quintet of Fille Cayetano, Gretchen Ho, Aillysse Nacachi, Dzi Gervacio, and Jem Ferrer  graduated, and Coach Roger Gorayeb opted to focus more on his alma mater's, San Sebastian, team. Enter Coach Tai Bundit. With the team now on rebuilding mode, many expected Ateneo, now led by Alyssa Valdez, not to make the Finals. Then, a Cinderella story happened. The Lady Eagles put up an impressive overachieving performance in the eliminations, but it was good enough for third place and a bunch of do-or-die matches to play as La Salle swept the round. However, Ateneo bucked the odds, and a 38-year collegiate title drought came to an end. What made it more special is that a new Fab Four was formed with Valdez, Ella De Jesus, and then rookies Amy Ahomiro and Jia Morado. A new freshman in Bea De Leon came in and helped the Lady Eagles achieve another accomplishment as they grabbed the bronze medal in the ASEAN University Games. Also, with them starting the ongoing season 4-0, they can go for a 7-0 sweep of the first round next month.

4. IPTL happened

For tennis fans, the only way for them to see their favorite players smash the ball is either on TV or via live stream... until the IPTL took place at the Mall of Asia Arena. For probably the first time ever, fans got a chance to see the likes of Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams live in flesh as they tried to lift their respective teams to the win. Sharapova's Manila Mavericks finished third in the inaugural IPTL season.

5. The Sochi experience

Finally, a Filipino stepped in the Winter Olympics. Michael Martinez became the first athlete from the relatively-hot ASEAN region to participate in the said games. Martinez put up a gallant performance in the figure skating competition and, at a young age, showed promise for the Olympiads to come.